Posts Tagged ‘sussex’

This one’s all about the views.

Goring-by-Sea to Amberley, Sussex

Which way now?

Which way now?

I’m very fond of the South Downs, as you may have noticed, given that I’ve written about walks in this area before. I’d been planning this one for a while, and on a September Saturday when I found I had nothing much else to do, made a last minute decision to head south and make the most of the late summer sunshine. The beautiful weather was essential to fully appreciate this walk – the fantastic views across southern England from so many points along the route would have been far less spectacular if visibility was reduced. There were some long climbs, and I must admit I was exhausted by the time I reached my destination, but, wow, was it worth it!

Start: Goring-by-Sea Station TQ105032

Finish: Amberley Station TQ026118

Length: 12 miles/5 hours

How to get there: Travelling with Southern again, Goring-by-Sea is on the West Coastway line that runs along the south coast between Brighton and Portsmouth/Southampton, and is also served by direct services from London Victoria, taking about 90 minutes. Amberley is on the delightful Arun Valley line that runs south from Horsham to join the West Coastway near Littlehampton & Bognor Regis; again, there are direct services from London. NB: There is another Goring station, in Oxfordshire, which is of no use if you wish to follow this walk, but it is in a beautiful part of the Thames Valley and the Chilterns so ending up there wouldn’t be completely disastrous. In fact, it’s an area I’m planning to visit soon enough.


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A short walk along cliff tops and beaches on the south coast.

Seaford Head, Sussex

View from Seaford Head

Looking east from Seaford Head over the town to, in the distance, Newhaven

Several times recently, urged on by the desire to escape the noise of London, I’ve jumped on the train to the pleasant unassuming seaside town of Seaford, somewhere of which I’m becoming quite fond. It’s a bustling, flourishing town and although it lacks the grandeur and flamboyance of it’s better-known south coast neighbours, Brighton to the west and Eastbourne to the east, it is equally lacking in the sense of decline and tackiness of so many towns around the British coastline. Seaford was the starting point for a walk to Eastbourne across the Seven Sisters, the spectacular cliffs formed where the hills of the South Downs meet the English Channel; I came here back in April to explore the abandoned village of Tide Mills, along the coast to the west, and returned to Seaford soon after to head east for the first time along the route described in this post. A fine sunny July day seemed a great excuse for a return visit.

Start/Finish: Seaford Station TV481991

Length: 6½ miles/3 hours

How to get there: Seaford is at the end of a branch line, served by half hourly Southern services from Brighton via Lewes and occasional direct services from London


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A fascinating slice of Sussex social history

Seaford to Newhaven, Sussex

Just a quick post this one, because this wasn’t really a planned walk, just an afternoon wander at the seaside that led me to a really interesting site, ideal for those (like me) fascinated by dereliction.

Start: Seaford Station TV481991

Finish: Newhaven Harbour Station TQ449009

Length: 2 miles/1½ hours, but allow plenty of time for exploring

How to get there: Both stations are on the Seaford branch, served by Southern services from Brighton and London via Lewes.

Tide Mills location map

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A lesson in landscape history

Ashurst to Eridge, Kent/Sussex border

I love the Weald, this being the area of sandstone hills between the chalk of the North Downs and the South Downs exposed by erosion of the overlying chalk and greensand layers. Here’s a quick geology lesson, pay attention at the back:

Got that? Good. There’s a history lesson later too, as there are three landscape features in particular that crop up regularly on this walk, each of which helps to tell the history of this part of southern England.

Beautiful woodlands, stunning views from rolling hills that drop into steep-sided sandstone ravines, only an hour from the centre of London, yet you can walk for miles without seeing another person. Not entirely sure why this should be, given that this is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, possibly because the two ridges either side have National Trails running along them that attract the tourists?

Start: Ashurst (Kent) Station TQ507387

Finish: Eridge Station TQ542345

Length: 5 miles/2½-3 hours

How to get there: Dr Beeching made this area quite difficult to access by railway, but there are still direct services from London, and a number of heritage steam railways locally too. Both stations are on the Uckfield line, served by an hourly Southern service from London Bridge via East Croydon. Alternatively, travel from London Victoria on the service to East Grinstead and change at Hurst Green or Oxted. NB: There’s an Ashurst station in the New Forest. Don’t go there. At least, not if you want to do this walk.


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Did I mention the rain? Actually, I exaggerate. It didn’t rain all day. Not quite.

Pulborough to Amberley, West Sussex.

A walk along the Arun Valley, taking in centuries of history and spectacular countryside and wildlife. And rain.

Start: Pulborough Station TQ043186

Finish: Amberley Station TQ026118

How to get there: Both stations are on the Arun Valley line, served by Southern services from London Victoria to Bognor Regis/Littlehampton/Portsmouth Harbour/Southampton Central via Horsham, taking about an hour and 20 minutes from Victoria to Pulborough. Many trains divide at Horsham – make sure you’re travelling in the correct part of the train. At the time of writing, Southern are offering a number of internet-only, advance-booking fares for £3 single, so £6 return if you book the outward journey to Pulborough and the return from Amberley. Bargain!


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